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Economy and Globalisation

Submitted by David Roffey on November 10, 2011 - 10:49am.
IEA World Energy Outlook 2011
The International Energy Agency is not a bunch of green tree-huggers. The following Executive Summary from their new report is a significant input to other debates here and elsewhere. Headlines: "Oil could hit $150 a barrel soon if investment in the Middle East and North Africa fails to rise with demand" : "If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change." : "Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment avoided in the power sector before 2020 an additional $4.3 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions."
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Submitted by John Pratt on November 9, 2011 - 2:09pm.
A green letter day
The passing of the carbon tax bill today is a victory for future generations and for the planet. The money raised will be used to fund alternative energy and new industries for Australia. We can all stand proud today.
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Submitted by John Pratt on November 2, 2011 - 7:28pm.
Robin Hood, mining tax and seven challenges for 7 billion people
With challenges like these confronting mankind, can we continue with a business as usual approach? Are the current institutions capable of addressing these challenges? I think not. To fix these problems governments will need to raise a lot more revenue.
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Submitted by John Pratt on October 27, 2011 - 1:17pm.
Occupy Webdiary
I believe it is greed that is a root cause of climate change denial. The people who deny the threat of global warming are the same people who are unwilling to change their way of life so that others in the village can survive. People who want it all now and are unwilling to leave anything for generations to come.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on August 5, 2011 - 8:18pm.
GFC Mark II
STEVE KEEN: Level of assets have got three letters at the front ASS. I think we should take them importantly. Assets can collapse in value overnight, as we've seen today, your liabilities remain there, and it's liabilities that are driving this debt crisis.
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Submitted by Justin Obodie on May 5, 2011 - 7:46pm.
Running Bears and Waterfalls
Inflation is up, and apparently it surprised the lads at the RBA, who immediately signalled the possibility of another interest rate rise. The market immediately factored that one in. As I write this we can now exchange our AUD for 1.092 greenbacks. Wow, over a 100% rise in only 10 years. But who wants greenbacks?
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Submitted by justin tutty on March 23, 2011 - 3:58pm.
Now's not the time to battle phantom reactors
Sure, let’s make the most of the renewed attention and reawakened concerns about nukes. But in doing so, let’s not spend too much energy attacking phantom reactors. I'd rather leapfrog over any questions of hypothetical reactors to confront the reality of uranium mining. I don't know that we can do anything about earthquakes and tsunami, but we have a responsibility, and an opportunity, to act now to avoid the risk of another Fukushima.
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 18, 2011 - 1:36pm.
A chance for Australia to help the people of Japan?
A prominent Cairns businessman is spearheading a push to bring thousands of Japanese refugees left homeless by the earthquake and tsunami to the Far North to ease the pressure on the disaster-struck nation.
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 16, 2011 - 3:33pm.
No time to be afraid of budget deficits
Richard Koo says that if government stimulus stops now we will face another downturn in the global economy. He says governments should continue with their fiscal stimulus until private sector borrowing reaches more normal levels.
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Submitted by David Roffey on January 22, 2011 - 12:50pm.
Will the oil price trigger the long-predicted double dip?
Back in March 2008, I put down my prediction that later that year the oil price would reach $145 and bring an end to world economic growth. Now we're back at $90, will it happen again?
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on December 1, 2010 - 5:43pm.
Capitalism: the Emperor without any clothes
The purpose of this essay is to dethrone the king, not kill him. Man is a tool making animal. Capitalism, money and free markets are tools. They have their strengths and they have their weaknesses. We should not idolize them. We should not let them run our society.
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Submitted by John Pratt on August 1, 2010 - 11:20pm.
Prosperity without growth?
Is it possible to have prosperity that isn’t about rising income? A prosperity that would give us health and security, at the same time allowing us to participate socially with hope for the future – a life that gives us the ability to flourish as human beings on a finite planet?... We are social beings, not isolates. To be complete we need to free our imagination: our prosperity should be about caring for others – a prosperity of hope.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 20, 2010 - 5:17am.
Beyond Prosecution?
"The case against BP Alaska involved a major oil company with strong political connections," West said. " We had several investigative avenues available to us that in my judgment as a veteran senior manager with the EPA Criminal Investigation Division would likely have led us to find criminal culpability on the part of a number of senior BP officials and to felonious behavior by this major corporation."
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Submitted by Hamish Alcorn on April 27, 2010 - 10:06am.
Australians and Germans at it Again
There's a much deeper argument that war cannot end, to do with human nature. It says that we are warlike by nature, and can draw strong arguments from evolutionary psychology. Our ability and constitutional inclination to divide the human world into an 'us' and a 'them', and indeed to feel warlike toward the 'them', seems to be a part of our nature which we can thank for the survival of our family trees for the past million and more years. We can't throw it just by a bit of state indoctrination or mass participation in flower workshops. It's a strong argument.
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Submitted by Chris Saliba on November 12, 2009 - 7:48pm.
Chris Saliba reviews Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, by Peter Maass
While we in the West can hold our nose when we read about these terrible troubles in the rest of the world, the reality is that our oil dependence means we help contribute to this ugly reality. Our leaders cheerfully extol the virtues of globalisation, but don't like to talk about the money that Saudi Arabia funnels into supporting fundamentalist causes.
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Submitted by David Roffey on August 21, 2009 - 4:10pm.
September oil and other GFC nuggets
A quarter or two where the GDP manages a dribble of growth isn't "out of recession". If I'm right about the likely oil price reaction to any sustained return to growth, we possibly never will be.
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Submitted by Alan Thornhill on August 14, 2009 - 11:01am.
"Not out of the woods yet"
[Mr Rudd] was commenting on the results of the National Australia Bank’s latest monthly business survey, which showed business confidence in Australia has bounced back to a pre-crisis level. Even the bank, though, was cautious in its assessment of this result. It said a “closer look” at the data suggests that it might be difficult to maintain this freshly restored momentum.
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Submitted by Peter Browne on August 2, 2009 - 1:03pm.
Triple-A trouble
This was a “weightless economy” in which the marginal cost of producing the newest and most exciting products – delivered by the internet – was close to zero, so the old constraints on growth no longer applied. Fuelled by innovation, low interest rates and interesting new types of finance, western economies would keep expanding. Debt could always be repaid; housing bubbles would never burst. Above all, governments should leave wealth creation to the markets.
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Submitted by Alan Thornhill on July 9, 2009 - 10:03pm.
Recovery: Rudd spells it out
Mr Rudd is not reluctant to teach others the lessons that the global economic crisis has taught him. He says the G20 must be given the job of coordinating measures to end the crisis. He fears that the world’s richest and most powerful nations, represented by the G8, cannot do it alone.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 8, 2009 - 4:24pm.
Which bank? The people's bank?
We are still in the midst of understanding the consequences of the global financial crisis and the actions of governments (including Australia's) in response to it. Importantly, it remains uncertain to what degree Australia's comparatively successful performance in navigating through this catastrophe has been due to regulatory foresight or just good luck. We would do well not to discount the possibility that a "good roll of the dice" left us without more significant system failures such as those seen in Britain. In future crises, we may not be so lucky.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 7, 2009 - 11:09pm.
The death of macho
For years, the world has been witnessing a quiet but monumental shift of power from men to women. Today, the Great Recession has turned what was an evolutionary shift into a revolutionary one. The consequence will be not only a mortal blow to the macho men’s club called finance capitalism that got the world into the current economic catastrophe; it will be a collective crisis for millions and millions of working men around the globe. (Reihan Salam)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 12, 2009 - 11:50pm.
A second American revolution
But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades. The global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too. (Mikhail Gorbachev)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 2, 2009 - 12:55am.
Goodbye, GM
So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company's body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with – dare I say it – joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too, are without a job. But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! (Michael Moore)
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Submitted by Jay Somasundaram on June 1, 2009 - 12:07am.
It's Treasury that must press ahead
Dear Dr Henry, I read, with some bemusement of your call to the Rudd government to press ahead with reform. With respect, you yourself have the power, within your sphere of influence as Secretary of the Treasury and adviser on tax reform, to press ahead with the four most important reforms that Australia should undertake.
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on May 27, 2009 - 1:04pm.
Democratic fairy-tales from Westminster
The task of the intellectual is not to advance an ideal arrangement that will lead us to some kind of heaven-on-earth; the task of the intellectual is to call things by their names and this is what Keane has failed to do. Those who truly love democracy seek to account for its absence rather than to find it where it does not exist.
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Submitted by David Roffey on May 18, 2009 - 9:57am.
Prosperity without Growth?
The UK's Sustainable Development Commission has released a major new report: 'Prosperity without Growth?: the transition to a sustainable economy' which proposes twelve steps towards a sustainable economy and argues for a redefinition of "prosperity" in line with evidence about what contributes to people’s wellbeing.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on May 17, 2009 - 1:41pm.
Democracy failure
The true cause of our present difficulties is that democracy slept through the making of a deep crisis. It is not that the road to our present hell was paved by good or bad intentions. We find ourselves heading for hell because nothing was ever done politically to prevent it. Democracy failure bred market failure. Unelected regulatory bodies and elected politicians, parties and whole governments let their citizens down. (Professor John Keane)
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Submitted by Trevor Maddock on May 16, 2009 - 12:54pm.
Imperialism and the commodification of education
It is precisely this idea [describing education as a product] which bedevils the current debate on education, I would argue, for this kind of conception is an essential part of the current pursuit of economic uniformity. Education is seen in this context not just as a product but as a product produced for exchange. In other words, education is reduced to a commodity.
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Submitted by Lynette Mwangi on May 9, 2009 - 4:19pm.
The art of finding affordable housing
There is an art to finding affordable housing, especially if one is in the world’s most expensive cities. I discovered this when I arrived in Sydney early this year. As one of my main concerns, I went looking for housing industry experts to give me a couple of tips on how to get a fairly priced rental accommodation.
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Submitted by Gang Shen on May 8, 2009 - 5:47pm.
Australia’s wine exports to China
As a newly converted wine lover and a Chinese, I experienced such difficulty rooted in culture – first and foremost were the names. It is very much like dating. How can you start a relationship with a girl without even knowing her name? Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah or Shiraz – they are not even English names! Oh, my God, should I learn another foreign language before I start to enjoy wines?
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